No matter what, there are consequences to our actions. Whether we care or not, there is a reaction to every deed and consequences will follow.
Looking out my window, one day at work, I saw men wearing large orange coats. On the back of their coats in bold letters read “HARRIS COUNTY JAIL.” With shovel in hand, the wet cold drizzled down on them. I felt bad for them and began to wonder how did they end up in the County Jail. I wondered what decisions did they make that costed their freedom. What about their families? Did they leave wives and children home trying to deal with the consequences of their husband or father’s decision? How many lives were affected by their wrong choices?
I was heavy-hearted. And I know most of you are probably thinking “They made that bed. Now, they must sleep in it.” Yes, this is true, but how many times have we missed opportunities to share words that could have the potential of leading women and men the right way? How many times have we chosen to keep our mouth shut and not speak a word of encouragement into to young person’s life? I hope someone takes the time out do this for my son and my daughter. Even though my husband and I take time to pour into my children’s lives, sometimes they’re more open to receiving those same words from someone else.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Think about it. How often do you speak words of encouragement to someone? What about a co-worker? Your boss? A stranger on the street? Someone who’s incarcerated? Do you encourage your wife? Your children? Or do you speak over yourself? Even David needed encouraging after the people around him wanted to stone him for what happened to their families.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
I am guilty. I’ve passed up great opportunities, given by the Lord, to encourage someone who may have been going down the wrong path. I didn’t say anything because I wondered what their response would be. I didn’t share my struggles or mistakes for fear of being jeered. I said nothing because I second guess God. I closed my mouth and didn’t witness thinking to myself, “Who am I. They probably don’t want to listen to me. Besides, I have my own issues.”
Could it be that those men that I saw outside my window have had countless opportunities to be lead the right way by the right person? Did these men crossed paths with many Christians before they landed in the County Jail, but no one share a little bit of wisdom with them? Is it possible that you and I (followers of Christ) have failed to be a light, failed to encourage, failed to witness, failed to comfort, failed to build up our brothers and sisters? Could be.
And isn’t it a tragedy and very disappointing to think that instead of showing compassion, mercy, and forgiveness to one another (even to ourselves!) that we have been condemning and pointing fingers at those who’ve wandered down the wrong path?
My sister, God has charged us, the Believer, to go witness! He has called you and me to share Jesus (Matt. 28:19-20). He’s called us to be hope in this dark world. He wants us to encourage, to forgive, to love and restore one another (1 Thess. 5:11; Matt. 6:14-15; John 13:34-35; Gal. 6:1;). Let’s not miss any opportunities to be consolation to a person in need.
Let us pray: Father, forgive us for passing up countless opportunities to share Jesus with the hurting. Give us your boldness to stand and be a witness for You. We asked that You would remove the spirit of fear and timidity and replace it with Your love, Your power, and Your self-control. Help us to not think twice about sharing Your word and comfort to a needy soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen.